Why Democrats Are Blocking Election Progress

The following is the text of an article by former Secretary of State Sam Reed on our state’s presidential nomination process, published as an op ed in The Olympian:

* Washington Republicans held precinct caucuses Saturday to start the process
* But the GOP is using a statewide primary vote May 24 to award delegates to candidates
* By contrast, Democrats are awarding delegates only through caucuses March 26

by Sam Reed – February 21, 2016

“Throughout 240 years of our nation’s history, nothing politically is more important to Americans than who is elected president.

“With the Republican Party political caucuses Saturday, the Democrats’ caucuses coming up on March 26 and the Washington presidential primary coming up May 24, I want to talk with you about how we nominate candidates for president.

“While our state is nationally recognized for being on the cutting edge of reforming the election system to have more inclusive, informed and accessible voting, this is an appalling exception.

“The United States has a decentralized system of elections. Each state decides how it is going to carry out the presidential nominating process. Over the past half century, most states have reformed their process to move away from the archaic political party caucus system to letting the people have a direct, secret vote in presidential primaries.

“Washington did this in 1989. A popular initiative to the Legislature, with unprecedented grassroots support, was adopted overwhelmingly by the Legislature.

“There were compelling reasons behind this reform.

“Political parties’ caucuses are 19th century creatures from the smoke-filled-room era of party bosses. They are premised on the idea that party insiders gather in precinct caucuses, then county and state conventions to elect delegates. It is very easy for party leaders or presidential campaigns to manipulate the caucuses and conventions.

“These are exclusive processes. In terms of the caucus system in presidential years, by far the most money, time, talent and candidate availability goes into the Iowa caucuses. Yet, this year the voter turnout was a paltry 15.7 percent. A couple weeks later, the New Hampshire presidential primary was held and 62.2 percent of their voters participated. That is an extraordinary difference.

“In Washington, our party caucuses average 7 percent turnout, while our presidential primary averages 42 percent turnout.

“You’re probably wondering why caucus turnout is so low. First, you have to show up at one time on one day to participate. That automatically eliminates sizable portions of our population who are working, out of town, serving in the military, working or traveling overseas and ill, or taking care of sick children.

“Second, there are people who feel uncomfortable arguing or even politely discussing their presidential preferences with people in their neighborhoods. This is particularly true for people with English as a second language and people with disabilities. Most people simply feel that it’s none of their neighbors’ business whom they support.

“On the other hand, presidential primaries are conducted like any other election – other than having to pick a Democratic or Republican ballot. The ballots are mailed out 20 days before the election. Voters can mail them or use drop boxes at any time. They vote a secret ballot in private. They can take their time and study the candidates.

“And now the bad news.

“As your longtime Thurston County auditor and secretary of state for 12 years, I was deeply disappointed — perhaps even shocked — how the political parties decided to ignore the will of the people and their elected representatives.

“With the Republicans, it was usually partial ignoring. They decided to honor the presidential primary by determining 50 percent of the delegates most presidential years. This year, state GOP chair Susan Hutchison deserves considerable credit and commendation for leading her party to accept the presidential primary results for determining 100 percent of their delegates to the national convention.

“The Democrats, on the other hand, have never honored the vote of the people. As far as I know, there is no other state in the nation where a political party chooses to ignore the people’s vote and uses the more exclusive caucus/convention system to determine whom their delegates support at the national convention. In my opinion, that’s an atrocity. If you are a Democrat, you need to speak up.

“To compound the problem, this year the Democrats, for the first time, also decided to make Washingtonians’ votes less meaningful by not moving the presidential primary up on the election calendar.

“For 240 years, we have been the world’s great success story for representative democracy. Let’s move forward in this state and allow that democracy to work in an unfettered fashion for the presidential nominating process.”

Successful Precinct Caucuses!

We had thousands of successful precinct caucuses throughout the state on February 20 – a united Republican Party.

Special thanks to all the great volunteers who made sure the caucuses ran smoothly.

Next, we’re looking forward to the County GOP conventions, to be held between March 12 and April 16.

Caucuses Sat. 2/20: Find Your Caucus Location!

The WSRP Precinct Caucuses are February 20 at 10:00 am (please arrive at 9:00 am)!

With a click you can find your caucus location. Then you will be prompted to pre-register, saving you time the day of the caucus. You must be registered to vote and be a Republican to participate.

To find your caucus location and pre-register for your caucus go to https://wsrp.org/caucus

To register to vote, go to http://1.usa.gov/1SUQjQY

The Precinct Caucus is the important first step in the process Republicans use to select our Presidential candidate. At the caucus, you will vote for delegates to send to your county or legislative district conventions and discuss platform issues important to you.

For information on what will happen at the caucus go to http://www.GOPeakTeam.com

Thank you for participating in democracy!

WSRP Chairman Hutchison Statement On The Passing Of Justice Scalia

Bellevue, February 13 – Washington State Republican Party Chairman Susan Hutchison issued the following statement on the passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia:

“Justice Scalia deeply loved America and the Constitution. He was an unwavering, principled conservative whose respect for the American people and our democracy provided the highest form of public service.”

Lincoln on Liberty and the Declaration of Independence

Today is the 207th birthday of Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican president. With the challenges our nation faces today, it is worthwhile to read what Lincoln had to say about the relationship between American freedom and our nation’s birth certificate, the Declaration of Independence. On August 17, 1858, Lincoln said:

“[T]he Fathers of the Republic … said to the whole world of men: ‘We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’

“This was their majestic interpretation of the economy of the Universe. This was their lofty, and wise, and noble understanding of the justice of the Creator to His creatures.

“Yes, gentlemen, to all His creatures, to the whole great family of man. In their enlightened belief, nothing stamped with the Divine image and likeness was sent into the world to be trodden on, and degraded, and imbruted by its fellows.

“They grasped not only the whole race of man then living, but they reached forward and seized upon the farthest posterity. They erected a beacon to guide their children and their children’s children, and the countless myriads who should inhabit the earth in other ages … so that no man would hereafter dare to limit and circumscribe the great principles on which the temple of liberty was being built….” – Abraham Lincoln, August 17, 1858

Senator Curtis King Responds To Inslee’s “Scurrilous” Accusations

OLYMPIA…Sen. Curtis King, R-Yakima, today made this statement clarifying his role as Senate Transportation Committee chair and the Senate’s decision Friday to reject the appointment of state transportation secretary Lynn Peterson:

“Today the governor claimed the rejection of former-Secretary Peterson came as a great shock to him. He must be the only person in Washington who was surprised. Over the past three years, stories of botched DOT projects and relentless mismanagement has provided fodder for every form of social media, as well as newspapers and nightly newscasts across the state. For my own part, I have sent multiple letters to the former transportation secretary since 2013 expressing my concerns and lack of confidence over a number of issues. I think the biggest surprise to drivers in this state is that it took this long for a change to be made.

“When the members of the Senate Transportation Committee voted to move the confirmation of the former transportation secretary into the Rules Committee over a year ago, they were not voting ‘for’ or ‘against’ the agency head, they were voting to move the nomination forward. That is how the confirmation process works, and the governor knows it – or should. To characterize the words I said during the public hearing in committee as an affirmation of her work is disingenuous. Thanking Ms. Peterson for making her staff available to legislators is hardly a ringing endorsement.

“In 2015 it was the Legislature which determined the scope, budget and project list for the largest transportation revenue package in state history. The role of DOT and the former transportation secretary was to implement the package. To suggest that our approval of the package itself constitutes an endorsement of Ms. Peterson is also inaccurate.

“Agency directors should be well aware that they are ultimately responsible when there are problems within their agency. Pointing fingers at contractors is just blame-shifting. The Senate confirms or rejects people appointed by the governor, not contractors hired by those people. We are also not the human-resources department for the executive branch – meaning our job is not to coach agency heads or manage them. That is the job of the governor. When he fails to do his job, then we are forced to do ours.”

GOP-led Senate fires Inslee’s Transportation Secretary

Republicans in the State Senate have taken a courageous step today on behalf of the people of our state, firing Jay Inslee’s Secretary of Transportation Lynn Peterson. Acting under their authority under the state Constitution, the Senate rejected her confirmation by a vote of 25 opposed to 21 in favor.

The entrenched Democratic leadership in Olympia bears full responsibility for our state’s transportation mess – the outrageous I-405 tolls, the 520 bridge construction cost overruns, delays and millions wasted on Bertha, the Good To Go billing fiasco, severe traffic gridlock and congestion throughout the state, and the resulting negative effects on our quality of life, mobility and pollution.

Peterson presided over a “customer-hostile” environment, Senator Andy Hill noted. And as Senator Steve O’Ban stated, under Peterson WSDOT exhibited an “unfortunate pattern of mismanagement.”

With 32 years of Democrat control, state government is dominated by a bureaucracy that is unaccountable, negligent, satisfied with business as usual, and dismissive of the concerns of the citizens. The people of our state deserve much more – especially in such a crucial area of government responsibility as transportation.

By firing Peterson, the Republican-led Senate has taken an unusual action – but one that is justified and absolutely necessary. Our Republican state senators have demonstrated that they are problem solvers, willing to defy the bureaucracy and stand up courageously for the people of Washington.

Democrats In Panic Over Iowa Results

BELLEVUE, WA, February 2 – Susan Hutchison, the Chairman of the Washington State Republican Party (WSRP), issued the following statement:

“Democrats are worried about the Iowa Caucus results. The rift in their party is on plain view now. It can’t get much worse than supporters of Bernie Sanders chanting ‘She’s a liar, she’s a liar!’ last night. Fifty percent vote for Hillary, the habitual liar, and fifty percent for an open socialist – you can’t get much weirder than that!

“Young voters overwhelmingly reject Hillary Clinton for her dishonesty, corruption, and ties to fat cat special interests. But the Democrat nomination process is already fixed – the game is rigged in favor of Clinton and against Bernie Sanders. The WA state party leaders have played along by blocking a March presidential primary, preventing the voters from having an early say in the nomination process. The Democrats won’t let their statewide voters in the May 24 primary have a say either. Did someone say voter suppression?

“Obviously, the State Democrats fear that a popular vote would surely give Bernie the win. Just as the Democrats in Iowa flipped a coin six times (unbelievably, Hillary won each toss!), the Democrats’ establishment machine manipulates outcomes with its ‘Super Delegates.’ Important note: the GOP has no ‘Super Delegates’ – our delegates will be bound by the vote of the people!

“Washington Democrat Party leaders came out swinging today against two Republican Hispanic candidates, who made history by winning a combined 51% of the GOP vote in Iowa. The GOP is now the party of diversity – just look at our candidates! In the days ahead, expect the far left Seattle Democrats who run the state party to continue their prejudiced attacks on Republicans of color who profoundly threaten the Democrats’ talking points.”

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